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Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in The Alice and Rollo G. Silver Collection, Department of Special Collections, Boston University

Original records created by the Department of Special Collections, Boston University; revised and expanded by the Walt Whitman Archive and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Encoded Archival Description completed with the assistance of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the University of Nebraska Research Council, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Title: Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in The Alice and Rollo G. Silver Collection, Department of Special Collections, Boston University

Collection Number: N/A


Creator:  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892


Collector:  Silver, Rollo G.


Repository:  Boston University

Abstract:
This catalog was created from a finding aid created by the Department of Special Collections, Boston University, and obtained by the Walt Whitman Archive. The original papers and catalog records are held at Department of Special Collections, Boston University.

Scope and Content: 
The Whitman collection of the larger Alice and Rollo G. Silver Collection is made up of first editions, collected editions, translations and reprints of the poet's own work, as well as contemporary works about him; many are inscribed or association copies. It also includes holograph letters and literary manuscripts, many photographs, engravings and memorabilia, and correspondence with Whitman's biographers and other collectors. Selected highlights include the first printing of Leaves of Grass (Brooklyn, 1855), the famous deathbed edition of Leaves of Grass, (Philadelphia, 1891-92), and nearly all of the revised editions published in the thirty-six years between the two. Also present are the novel Franklin Evans (Whitman's first book), an unpublished manuscript version of "Sail Out for Good, Eidólon Yacht!" from Leaves of Grass, and books from Whitman's library. The individual items described in this catalog are only those deemed poetry or prose manuscripts.

Biographical Information:
For additional biographical information, see "Walt Whitman," by Ed Folsom and Kenneth M. Price, and the chronology of Whitman's Life.

Subjects:
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892;  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892--Manuscripts; Poets, American--19th century



Whitman Archive Title: Old Age's Ship & Crafty Death's
Whitman Archive ID: bos.00001
Box: 1
Repository Title: Old Age's Ship & Crafty Death's
Date: about 1890
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten, printed
View images: 1 | 2
Content: This is a proof of "Old Age's Ship & Crafty Death's," first published in Century Magazine February 1890, with corrections and annotations in Whitman's hand.



Whitman Archive Title: Sail out O mystic yacht
Whitman Archive ID: bos.00003
Box: 1
Repository Title: Sail Forth O Mystic Yacht
Date: about 1891
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: This is a heavily revised draft of "Sail Out for Good, Eidólon Yacht!" The poem was first published in Lippincott's Magazine in March 1891 with "Sounds of the Winter," "The Unexpress'd," and "After the Argument" under the general title "Old-Age Echoes." The manuscript leaf is made from two scraps pasted together, one of them an envelope addressed to Whitman, bearing several postmarks from June 1890.



Whitman Archive Title: [(result of year in army hospitals]
Whitman Archive ID: bos.00002
Box: 1
Repository Title: I have had one feeling. . .
Date: about 1864
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Prose draft fragment decrying the lack of democratic sensibilities among commissioned officers. Edward F. Grier transcribes this manuscript under the title "[(Result of Year]" in Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts (New York: New York University Press, 1984) 2: 675. Grier suggests that this manuscript is (at least thematically) linked to portions of Democratic Vistas (1871). However, these notes seem to be an early working of ideas that Whitman would later return to and incorporate into his prose. In this manuscript, Whitman mentions the of the role of "true Democracy" in forming a military structure "worthy of America," an idea which he further develops in "A New Army Organization Fit for America," Specimen Days & Collect 1882–1883.



Whitman Archive Title: [Was it thought that all was]
Whitman Archive ID: bos.00005
Box: 1
Repository Title: Notes for Lecture
Date: 1860-1869
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: This manuscript appears to contain notes for a lecture, though it is uncertain whether Whitman ever used them for a lecture or a published prose work. Some of the phrasing in the last clause, regarding exiles, is echoed in the 1856 poem "Liberty Poem for Asia, Africa, Europe, America, Australia, Cuba, and The Archipelagoes of the Sea," which eventually became "To a Foil'd European Revolutionaire." "Notes for Lecture" is written at the bottom of the page in an unknown hand.




Restrictions on Original Materials: Please consult with repository.

Preferred Citation:  To identify this catalog as a source, see the Archive's "Conditions of Use" page.


Repository Contact Information:

Boston University
771 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215


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Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.